Open letter to Rise Against

Tim McIlrath and Neil Hennessy,

I want to thank you for the song “Swing Life Away.” It has been an anthem of sorts for both me and my daughter, Namine. She was born with several birth defects, some so severe that doctors informed us, prior to her birth, that she would probably not survive long enough to go home.

Blood on the sheets

Every morning, before I leave for work, I move Namine from her bed to “the big bed” (her name for Jessica’s and my bed). This morning, as I picked her up, I noticed two things: blood on both her bed sheet and her nightgown.

Late-night scare

Last night, when I was getting Namine ready for bed, I noticed something: the scab over the incision on her chest was half gone. What’s more, she had a nickel-sized bruise. It hadn’t been there that morning, of that I was sure. We immediately got on the phone with the hospital’s special needs and cardiology departments.